How YouTube and the Social Web Saved Winter

Submitted by Bryan Ruby on Wed, 02/09/2011 - 01:05

How YouTube and the Social Web Saved Winter

My Snow Blower

My back hurts. As with the rest of the United States, my neck of the woods has received more snow and cold weather than one could possibly want for the winter season. Due to the constant snowfall, I have spent a number of my days clearing my driveway from snow with the help of my 15 year old snow blower. Several days ago, the snow blower's auger died on me leaving me with a useless rusting piece of machinery.

Auger Belts

1. Remove the plastic belt cover on the front of the engine by removing two self-tapping screws. See figure 23.

2. Drain the gasoline from the snow thrower or place a piece of plastic under the gas cap.

The death of my snow blower couldn't have come at a worse time. Most stores in my area have already sold out their snow blowers for the season. The waiting list is long for seeing a small-machine mechanic to fix this heap of metal. I didn't even bother calling knowing full well I likely wouldn't even hear from the mechanic until March whether this snow blower was fixable or not.

3. Tip the snow thrower up and foward so that it rests on the housing.

4. Remove six self tapping screws from the frame cover underneath the snow thrower.

There was only one option left, I needed to fix the MTD 22 inch 5HP Snow Blower myself. I would need to start with a replacement part, Auger Belt OEM-754-0430.

5. Roll the front and rear auger belts off the engine pulley. See figure 24.

6. Unhook the idler spring from the hex bolt on the auger housing. See figure 25.

7. Unhook the support bracket spring from the frame.

The problem is that I'm not a mechanic but an information technologist. Not a single computer processor can be found on this snow blower. No keyboard, no user interface, and no scripting language came supplied with this equipment. They say manuals for computers can be confusing, but have you ever tried to decipher an owner's manual from Cleveland, Ohio for a 1996 snow blower?

Note: it may be necessary to loosen the six nuts that connect the frame to the auger housing to aid in belt removal.

8. Lift the rear auger belt from the auger pulley and slip belt between the support bracket and auger pulley. See Figure 24. Repeat this step for the front auger.

9. Replace both auger drive belts by following instructions in reverse order.

Before there was YouTube and before there was Web 2.0, I would have resigned myself to spending the rest of this winter shoveling my driveway without the aid of a snow blower. But this isn't 1991, this is 2011. I can't think of a better moment in time to show positive proof the impact the modern Internet has for improving our daily lives. For if you ever find yourself in need to fix your snow blower, you can thank the social web as well as YouTube's Donyboy73 for reminding me once again that there is purpose in Web 2.0, social media, and information systems.

Without a doubt, my snow blower would have landed in the junk yard and my back ruined if it hadn't been for that video. Instead, I spent my Super Bowl Sunday knowing that the next time it snowed, I had a snow blower fixed and ready to be called back to duty. I am tech geek, hear me roar.